Derbyshire dad's classic cars and miniature versions bought for his children are going up for auction
A Derbyshire dad’s collection of rare classic cars and miniature versions which he bought for his children are going up for auction where they could fetch tens of thousands of pounds.
The prized haul belonged to Peter McManus and was found in a barn near Repton.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “Finds like this in original condition, stored with care in a clean and dry outbuilding, don’t come along often. According to the sellers, Peter’s son and daughter, all the cars represent family togetherness, high days, holidays and happy memories.
"They have decided the time is now right to sell their late father’s classic cars and the miniature motors they were lucky enough to drive as children.”
Coming to auction on January 20 are two rare children’s cars – a 1960s Cheetah Cub D-Type Jaguar, £3,000-£5,000, and an Austin Pathfinder pedal car, converted to a petrol-engine, £4,000-£6,000.
In addition, two full-size classic cars, one which celebrates its 100th birthday in 2022, are set for auction in spring. Bidders will be able to compete to buy a 1960 Mark II Jaguar with only 50,000 miles on the clock, estimate £20,000-£30,000. The same sale will include a 1922 Bullnose Morris, £15,000-£20,000.
Charles said: “Peter was a keen motor car enthusiast. In 1960 he bought the Jaguar Mark II from new. He treasured it so much, it was only ever used on high days and holidays, including some New Year trips to Scotland, hence its low mileage.
“Even though it went to Scotland, it was carefully garaged away while they were there. The family took two cars on the trips north. Dad drove the Jag while the sellers’ mum followed in the family Mini.
“Its garage-mate was the Bullnose Morris which has had three owners from new. It was sold by G H Robbins of Evesham in 1922 and registered in July that year. Mr Robbins bought it back in 1939 and kept it until he passed away in the 1960s. In 1963 it was purchased by Peter.
“He loved its simplicity and ease of use. His children say people used to smile and wave at them when they were out and about in it. They recall their father driving them to a sweet shop in Rocester, Staffordshire, to buy sherbet fountains and sunny picnics in Derbyshire and Staffordshire.”
The Bullnose was also used as a wedding car when the car enthusiast’s daughter married.
Charles said: “The extremely rare child’s Cheetah Cub Jaguar was purchased at London’s Earls Court Motor Show in the early 1960s. It went on to be used by his daughter’s children. A retired Rolls-Royce engineer replaced its petrol engine with an easy-starter Honda. However, the original Villiers engine comes with the car.
“The children’s Austin Pathfinder was converted by a renowned motorcycle engineer from Derby who built it for his son. Later, he was persuaded to part with it by Peter.”
Peter’s son recalled: “I had many happy times driving it. When dad taught me to use it, I wanted to drive to Derby to pick up mum and couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t let me. He took his eyes off me for a minute, and I drove it into the garage wall! Nevertheless, the little engine just kept on going. I was then grounded until mum got home.”
The Pathfinder pedal car with petrol engine conversion was made during the 1950s. It has its original steel body plus a Villiers 75cc petrol engine. It requires minor recommissioning and new tyres.
Although Peter was born in Rhyl, his family was originally from Shardlow in Derbyshire. Peter undertook an apprenticeship in engineering in Derby and, during the Second World War, worked on Merlin engines at Rolls-Royce. He died at the age of 94 in 2017.
The children’s Austin Pathfinder and Jaguar D-Type are being offered in Hansons Auctioneers’ Toys, Models and Live Steam Auction on January 20. Catalogue www.hansonslive.co.uk or www.the-saleroom.com.
The Bullnose Morris and Jaguar Mark II will be offered at auction in March.